William F. Buckley Jr., Dead at 82
Up until the most recent re-design of this website I have always included a random quote generator in the layout of brentter.com. Its purpose was simple, to randomly display quotes that I have entered in a homemade database that I find inspirational or in some cases, just plain funny. Well over time I have accumulated a decent sized collection of quotes in that database, however a few of them that I feel are truly powerful/genuine come from a man by the name of William F. Buckley Jr.
With a heavy heart I noticed in my news aggregator this evening the announcement of his death. He had been suffering from both diabetes and emphysema and was found hunched over in his study on his desk. He was 82.
Founder of the National Review and long time writer, he also was the host of one of America’s longest-running television programs, “Firing Line.” Taken from an 2003 article trying to describe how he handled himself as the host:
“He had a special gift for making intellectual discussion exciting because he deconstructed arguments on the run. He was a fluid thinker and debater, a man so quick on his feet that it dazzled all but the most facile of his opponents. He gave liberals and leftists a forum and all the time they needed to explain their ideas. There was only one catch. They all had to debate him, and when Buckley turned round on them, to paraphrase his own line about Muggeridge, they found themselves outnumbered.”
To say that Mr. Buckley enjoyed writing would be an understatement. In addition to writing over 50 books, ranging from fictional spy novels to even a personal memoir of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, he also was a regular columnist, making the usually morbid “Letters To The Editor” section of his newspaper into its own column. His candid responses to letters were so popular that they would later be collected and sold as a book entitled, “Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription.”
I could continue to go on about the works of this literary giant, however this New York Times article gives a much better description of his life. I will instead close this post with one of my all-time favorite quotes from him. This quote, ironically, was also one of the first quotes that I used when first adding the quote generator to this blog – I feel that it encompasses the essence of what it’s like to be a copywriter:
“I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it and one is the feeling that I haven’t just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.” ~ William F. Buckley, Jr.
You will be missed.